Book Review – The Primarchs

Warhammer 40,000 – I recently finished up the latest Horus Heresy novel, The Primarchs. This is an anthology by several writers each detailing one of the Primarchs of the original Space Marine Legions.

The first short story revolves around Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children Legion. I've always liked the background of these deviant marines and as such was excited to read more about them. This story doesn't disappoint. Develing deeper into the depths of depravity these worshipers of Slaanesh have fallen into, the story focuses on whether Fulgrim is himself or possessed by a daemon. Overall it's a really good read and is far darker than most of the other books.

The second story is about the (yawn) Iron Hands Legion. I don't know if it's the legion or the author but this is a long drawn out tale that doesn't ever pick up steam. I've never liked the idea of the Iron Hands, flesh is weak we're robots nonsense; it seems far to one dimensional. Ages ago I read another novel about the chapter (note: Pre-Heresy they were legion, Post-Heresy loyalists are smaller chapters) and didn't get into it. Although it could just be the writing style, I can't get into Nick Kyme's work no matter how hard I try. Essentially the story focuses on the bull-headed nature of the Legion and how Manus Ferrus's need for glory drives him to get beheaded at the Hands of Fulgrim during the dropsite massacre. With most of the anthologies there are going to be some chaff, this is it.

The third tale focuses on the Dark Angels and Lion El'Johnson's paranoia. Seeing everyone as a possible traitor after his encounter with Konrad Cruse in an earlier short story, the primarch of the first legion makes his way to a secret Mechanicus lab to stop the Death Guard and Iron Hands from stealing some warp technology. I enjoyed this story as there was plenty of action, encounters with daemons and a little more background info on some of the named characters from the codexes.

The final story revolves around the Alpha Legion infiltrating themselves to route out a leak. So far I've really enjoyed any Heresy book they've been part of. While it can get confusing in the earlier books with everyone being refereed to as Alpharious and/or Omegon. This short actually give names to some of the other characters so it's an easier read.

Overall the anthology is worth a read, personally I'd skip the Iron Hands story but the others make up for it.